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eng Automatic Translation

Sots art / nostalgia

Selected Artwork Series

Selected artworks

Sots art movement that emerged as an unofficial and alternative Soviet art, opposed to the state ideology. The style combined social realism and pop art. Sots Art used socialist symbols and images of mass culture, processing them in an ironic manner.

The phenomenon appeared in the seventies, under the influence of the weakening of the ideological regime and state control over the cultural sphere, and as an artistic reflection on official art. The founders of the style were the Komar and Melamid group, artists Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid. It was an intermediate stage in the transition to post-Soviet culture. The main task was to create a neutral art zone by reducing the theme of politics in art. But in the space of official art, Sots Art remained the so-called political opposition, as it weakened the market relations of socialist realism figures. He reached the culmination of his development by the end of the eighties, during the period of perestroika, when many changes took place in all spheres of life. Ideological clichés, stereotypes, symbols were subject to change.

Unofficial modernism (Sots Art) differed from state socialist realism in its approach and subject matter. The artists defended symbolism and abstract painting, ridiculed the ideal, heroic socialist society and capitalist images, generally attributed official art to kitsch. The striking features of the direction are the methods of quoting, conscious eclecticism and various artistic systems colliding with each other.

The Belarusian artist Artur Klinov, in his artistic practice in the post-Soviet years, turned to national origins, traditional forms, ornaments and symbols. Under the influence of new concepts, the artist finds himself in the installation. Irony and nostalgia for Soviet mass culture can be traced in the objects. His installations included vinyl records, furniture, childhood items, books and more.

The art of Igor Tishin is closely connected with the post-Soviet space and historical aspects. Belarusian national characteristics are clearly read in the plot of his paintings and photographs. In his actions of the nineties, the artist worked with the specifics of the place, establishing a dialogue between space and object.

Other Belarusian representatives of this direction: Ales Marochkin, Yevgeny Shatokhin, Oleg Karpovich, Ales Pushkin, Alexei Zhdanov, Artur Klinov, Olga Sazykina, Vladimir Lappo, Ivan Popov, Sergei Kovrigo, Andrei Okhlopkov and others.

In connection with the political and economic situation, Belarusian culture has become more open, previously prohibited publications on the problems of history, philosophy, sociology, and “shelf” films made by innovators became available, which had a positive effect on the cultural life of society. At the stage of perestroika, with the democratization of spiritual life, national self-consciousness grew. Art has ceased to be limited by strict censorship and to endure the direct interference of state bodies in the organization and activities of creative unions and associations. Although the realistic direction still prevailed in the Belarusian fine arts, surrealistic motifs began to appear. Artistic searches in the direction of postmodernism, transavant-garde and conceptual painting were easily combined with traditional approaches.